Event Recap: Carbon Festival 2012 – Part Two

Part Two of this Carbon Festival recap features the Sneaker Freaker Swap Meet, Forums C and D, the two-hour live painting session presented by Ironlak, and just a few words to describe the after party for staff and special guests. All in all, this year's festival turned out to be a pretty great experience for me (as it always is in Melbourne) and despite a couple of hiccups, the insider information we learnt from those Forums will always overshadow those rather unfortunate moments in Forum D.

Before you read this post, you must get up to speed with Part One of my Carbon recap. If you already have, thank you, and please continue…

After getting no sleep from the last 24 hours and staying on my feet all day from the first day of forums, I completely knocked out after going out to dinner with friends. There was an opportunity to go bar-hopping in Melbourne, but I was completely exhausted so politely declined. Thank goodness I did because it left me prepared for Day Two of the Carbon Festival.

Day Two at Federation Square not only saw another two forums, but also the Sneaker Freaker Swap Meet happening inside the Atrium all day. The boys over at Project 4000 did a great job showcasing the event. Be sure to check that out.

First up though, was “Forum C: Evolution of an Idea” featuring special guests MEGA (Black Scale), Nick Catchdubs (Fool’s Gold), Huw Bennett (Vanishing Elephant), and DJ Neil Armstrong (Adidas Global Spokesperson/Hypebeast Blogger). Unfortunately, I was working the front desk yet again during this particular session but I managed to sneak in for snippets of MEGA’s and Nick Catchdubs’ presentations – both of whom had some good points.

“Always try and put your good ideas to life. If you can’t be motivated to do that, maybe you don’t believe in your vision as much as you think you do” (MEGA). Funnily enough Catchdubs talk ran along the same lines of “Adapt and do things you’re proud of”. Both simple pieces of advice, but both very true statements.

It’s kind of like what Eugene Kan said in Forum A about having your own voice and being able to filter through all the bullshit that’s out there. The main message is simple really: Don’t give up. If this is what you want to do, just don’t give up. Make sacrifices and just do it. Don’t let anyone stop you or bring you down. It’s all about hard work, passion, and determination. Yeah, I know it sounds like I’m preaching to you, but if I can do it, surely you can too.

A little break came through for lunch and after lunch came “Forum D: Visual Saturation”. Where do I begin? If you were in attendance, you’ll know that it probably was very far from what you expected, and definitely was not a forum for learning.

Forum D welcomed a panel of three very talented photographers: Ricky ‘The Funky Uncle’ Powell, 13th Witness and newcomer Yimmy Yayo. As I’ve said many times before, I’m not a photographer, but I’m a fan of the aforementioned guests and so when I heard they were leading this forum, I was glad to find out I wasn’t working during it.

After attending the forum, however, I kind of wished I had been given the extra shift. For those of you who don’t know Ricky Powell, this is what you need to know: Ricky Powell is a charming old man and constantly referred to me as his “cutey-pie” during the entire weekend. Others (including Powell himself) refer to him as The Funky Uncle.

During his presentation for Forum D, however, that charm behaviour took on a whole new level. He wasn’t charming at all. He was rude, arrogant and offensive – particularly to the ladies in the audience – and pretty much referred to everyone as a “jerk-off”. Nice, huh?

I know that this is not a reflection of the ACCLAIM staff and crew and all the hard work they had put into this event, but it was just unfortunate that his presentation was not the learning experience many would have hoped for. Maybe it was the copious amounts of beer he was consuming on stage, but maybe that’s just how he is, and I know this for sure, it was definitely not something any of us expected.

Let me refer to my notes to see if he said anything worthwhile during his presentation, in between the profanity and inappropriate remarks he was spitting out about his photography subjects… there was only one thing he said that was memorable to me that I bothered to jot down and that was, “If you can express yourself through your pictures, do it. Fuck it, I don’t know how to do any of that candygram bullshit”.

Prior to Ricky “Inappropriate is my middle name” Powell, however, we heard from 13th Witness. I’m sure it was a big thing to be presenting this year after his iconic father, Futura, was the man of the hour during last year’s Carbon festival. And whilst all was good in the beginning, unfortunately, with Powell adding sly comments during his presentation, things quickly took a bad turn.

But in saying that I did a learn something interesting from him: he does all his photo editing on his iphone via the app ‘Photosync’ (Go download it now!). He also believes that “photos are ideas” and ultimately, he takes photos of everything he wants to take – pretty much, everything that he likes. But then again, why would you take a picture of something you didn’t like?

Last to step up to the podium was Sydney’s own Yimmy Yayo. I know that many people have never heard of this guy, but I personally, am a fan and am a frequent follower of his Tumblr and Instagram photos. I have to say, even though it was unfortunate that Yayo had Powell and 13th Witness’ childish behaviour to deal with in this Forum, he still made a top effort to tell us about his story and how he got to where he is today.

Poor thing had to deal with constant beer requests from the other two and snoring remarks from Powell, which then of course just distracted the rest of us sitting in the audience trying to listen. But this picture pretty much sums up what Yayo was trying to get across for those who were paying attention:

Ater the Forums, all those who wanted a little bit more of Carbon goodness (or wanted to make up for what they just witnessed in Forum D), either spent a bit of cash at what was left of the Sneaker Freaker Swap Meet, or decided to stick around in the freezing cold for the Live Paint Session.

Presented by Ironlak, the two-hour session featured the works of Adelaide’s, Vans The Omega, Melbourne local Sirum, and international guests/Carbon speakers Chaz Bojorquez and Jasper Wong. I didn’t stick around for the entire thing but check out what I did manage to capture below and hit up the ACCLAIM website for the complete result.

As for the Carbon After Party, yes, I was invited and sure I drank, but I chose to watch my intake this year! Haha 🙂 I won’t be giving you a full run-down of the party but here are a few key words that come to mind: gourmet canapes, open bar, a few smoking sessions and Ricky being Ricky. Besides that, the party ended early anyway with most of the attendees getting kicked out at midnight. Lame.

But here’s hoping there will be a Carbon Festival happening in 2013! Be sure to grab your tickets for that one. ‘Til next time Melbourne!

Photos taken by The 5 to 9 Life and Vo Nam Nguyen of Thirteen Itches.